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SPORTS
October 22, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
CHICAGO - Before the puck dropped on the regular season, new Flyers general manager Ron Hextall held a meeting with his team. His message, among others, was simple: "Penalties are killing us," Zac Rinaldo recalled. Hextall pointed out the statistics. The Flyers have finished either last or second-to-last in fewest minor penalties in six of the nine seasons since the game changed after the 2004-05 lockout. He even held a meeting with Rinaldo during the offseason to drive home his point.
SPORTS
October 21, 2014 | By Frank Seravalli, Daily News Staff Writer
CHICAGO - Claude Giroux picked up where he left off last season. His linemate, Jake Voracek, has at least one point in all five games this season, the only Flyer to do so. The last Flyer with points in at least five straight games to start a season was Chris Pronger, back in 2011. Only one player in the NHL - the Rangers' Rick Nash (six) - has more goals than Wayne Simmonds (five). Giroux, Voracek and Simmonds each have seven points on the young season and all three rank in the top 20 in league scoring, despite the fact that Simmonds was held off the scoresheet Saturday night in Dallas.
SPORTS
October 21, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHICAGO - Lost in the shuffle of the Flyers' 6-5 comeback win in Dallas on Saturday night was the fact that Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was part of a historic event. The Flyers' 29-year-old center and his fellow countryman and role model, Dallas' Antoine Roussel, became the first France-born players to face each other in an NHL game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "It was special," Bellemare said in his thick French accent. "It felt great. " Bellemare and Roussel went to dinner Friday night, but that their main topic wasn't the history they were about to make.
SPORTS
October 20, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
ALLENTOWN - Anyone who has spent any length of time in downtown Allentown in their lifetime probably would not have believed the scene on Hamilton Street last night if not for witnessing it firsthand. As the sun slid past the horizon on an unseasonably warm October night, hundreds of orange-clad fans in Flyers jerseys mingled outside bars on patios, sipping beers. Steps away, the buzz of Opening Night beckoned inside PPL Center - a hockey palace regal enough for the NHL, but small enough to not look out of place in the Lehigh Valley.
SPORTS
October 20, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
DALLAS - A few days ago, winger Matt Read predicted that the Flyers' three-game road trip would be the "turnaround of our season" and that the team would "start to learn how to win games. " On Saturday night, after a wild and crazy finish at the stunned American Airlines Center, Read's words looked prophetic. The Flyers made a stirring, late comeback to send the game into overtime, then won it, 6-5, on a power-play goal by Claude Giroux with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in OT. It was the third straight Flyers (1-2-2)
SPORTS
October 20, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
DALLAS - Of all the statistics - including success on the power play and penalty kill, faceoff percentage, and shots on goal - there is one category that tells the true tale of an NHL team's strength. Five-on-five play. The reason is simple: Teams play most of the time at even strength, so five-on-five success is considered the ultimate gauge. In last year's Stanley Cup playoffs, for instance, two of the top five five-on-five teams were the Los Angeles Kings (No. 1, 1.29 goals scored for every one allowed)
SPORTS
October 20, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
DALLAS - Braydon Coburn, one of the Flyers' top-pair defensemen, missed his fourth straight game Saturday night and said his goal was to play Tuesday in Chicago. Nick Schultz was in the lineup Saturday in Dallas. Following Saturday's morning skate, Coburn said he had his best practice since being sidelined by a left foot injury in the opener in Boston. "Every day I'm getting closer to where I want to be," he said. "He's not ready himself," coach Craig Berube said. "I'm seeing enough for him to play, but the player has to feel like he is ready to play.
SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers are not overly concerned about being in Dallas, where a Liberian man died of Ebola and two nurses who treated him contracted the disease. "They keep saying it's more possible for us to get in a car accident or a plane accident - knock on wood - than to catch the Ebola virus," winger Wayne Simmonds said after the Flyers finished practicing in Voorhees on Friday and boarded a plane for Dallas, where they play the Stars on Saturday night. "I'm hoping what they say is the truth.
SPORTS
October 18, 2014 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chris VandeVelde checked his phone Wednesday night and read on Twitter that he had been called up by the Flyers. The official confirmation came a bit later. The 27-year-old forward said he packed quickly and drove from Allentown in time for the team's Thursday morning practice. "Now I'm here," he said. VandeVelde was added to the roster after a fast start with the team's minor-league affiliate, scoring twice in the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' season opener. He is likely to be a healthy scratch Saturday, but there's an outside chance he'll center the fourth line, joining Jason Akeson and Zac Rinaldo.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chris Pronger is as feisty off the ice as he was during his playing days. The former defenseman bristled at the suggestion that, by taking a job with the NHL's player-safety department on Friday, it is a conflict of interest because he is being paid by the Flyers for the next three seasons. Pronger said that he is "merely a sounding board" for Stephane Quintal, the NHL's senior vice president of player safety, and that Quintal will hand out disciplinary measures. Pronger will not be permitted to make disciplinary recommendations on incidents involving the Flyers.
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